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Why Eddie Jones saw a horror movie playing out before his eyes at Free State Stadium

17 June 2018 - 14:20 By Liam Del Carme
Eddie Jones, coach of England during the international rugby match between South Africa and England at the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein on June 16 2018.
Eddie Jones, coach of England during the international rugby match between South Africa and England at the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein on June 16 2018.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

England coach Eddie Jones described his team’s 23-12 defeat in the second Test to the Springboks as a “horror movie”.

England slipped to defeat for the second week running to hand South Africa the series win before next week’s third Test in Cape Town.

It didn’t‚ however‚ stop Jones from delivering some fighting talk and the Australian vowed that his team would bounce back with a spirited performance in next weekend’s clash at Newlands.

“It was a bit of a horror movie‚ wasn’t it?‚" he said.

"It was almost a rerun of last week.

"We made errors in different areas of the game. We are trying to find a solution for why we do that.

“Our plan for how we wanted to play the game was pretty clear‚ but as soon as something small happens we don’t seem to react too well to it.”

The result condemned England to a fifth consecutive defeat and Jones is increasingly desperate to find answers.

“We are going through a tough period. The players are putting in plenty of effort.

“I think this England team is always under pressure whether we are winning or losing. The players are feeling it more now.”

Asked whether it will be difficult to lift his team with the series already lost‚ Jones shook his head.

“This team has a lot of pride. We’ve won back-to-back Six Nations‚ equalled the world record for the most number of consecutive wins‚ we’ve gone to Australia and won three-nil.

"We’re now going through this bloody tough period. Everyone is going to fight hard to get out of this.

“You’ll see an absolutely spirited effort in Cape Town. Now it is about sticking together.

"(It is about) understanding what you can improve and understanding what is important in handling the emotions of the situation. If we do that we’ll get out of it. Unfortunately it’s gone on longer but we’ll get out of it.”

He explained the complexities of winning in South Africa.

When he coached the Wallabies they had a wretched run on South African soil‚ while his Reds team suffered a record defeat to the Bulls at Loftus.

“I’ve brought teams here for a long time‚" Jones said.

"To beat South African teams in South Africa you’ve got to play well and you have to be consistent.

"There is an ebb and flow in the games here and if you don’t control the ebb and flow‚ which we haven’t done‚ you get caught up in it.

"You start playing the score board and the game gets away from you.

“It’s only in the last 10 minutes you find yourself getting back into the game. This is a great learning experience for the team but it is painful‚ extremely painful.”

There were some flash points in the second Test with both teams desperate to dominate the other physically.

It led to a fair amount of tetchiness‚ some even suggesting England were looking for a fight.

“Both teams wanted to win the game. England/South Africa are always pretty tough games‚” reminded Jones.

“There was one scuffle with Faf de Klerk and Billy (Vunipola). I didn’t see anything other than that. It was a tough‚ hard Test match.”

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